Tag Archives: My Inspiration

My Inspiration for September 2021

30 Sep

This month my favourite things were the amazing, vibrant paintings of horses by the German Expressionist painter Franz Marc, then the delightful illustrations for the Wind in the Willows by Arthur Rackham, Constantin Guy’s watercolours of fancy Parisians and ladies in crinolines, illustrations by Sarah Kay and Hollie Hobby, covers of the Art Nouveau magazine Jugend, and illustrations by Theophile Steinlen. Violin and cello music to colour the crisp autumn air. I am really excited for the colours and richness of autumn this year! As always in late summer and early autumn, there was a bit of nostalgia and trips down memory lanes before I sail my boat into the groovy orange, mauve and crimson waters of October so I rewatched some of my old favourite films such as “Love Witch” (2016) and listened to some of my old favourites such as Bryan Ferry’s 2HB. It’s nice to revisit old favourites but one must be cautious not to sink into the sweetness of memories and miss out on the present and its possibilities.

“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air … Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”

(Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose)

“I have taken to celebrating the anniversaries of my sensations, the anniversary of something that was delightful at one time, of something that actually never occurred. I am reduced to celebrating anniversaries because I no longer have anything with which to replace even those silly, flimsy dreams. For dreams… have to be renewed too.”
(Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s White Nights)

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Viktor Semenovich Vilner, Embankment, Scenes from Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment”, 1971

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Picture by Nishe (Magdalena Lutek)

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Picture found on: mireia arpa on Instagram.

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My Inspiration for August 2021

31 Aug

The best book I read this August was Takanobu Ishikawa’s “Romaji Diary” and I have already written a book review about it here. There were passages and thoughts that I found extremely relatable and other parts of the book felt more like dipping my finger into the sea of reverie… My other inspirations are, as you can see from the pictures, many lovely late 1960s and early 1970s fashion pictures, portrayals of circus and the sea in art, the Stone Roses, red colour, I really crave red these days, in art and other places, Pre-Raphaelite art as the gateway to the season that awakens the soul; autumn…

And I feel so lonely and vulnerable and strange…”

(Anne Sexton, from A Self-Portrait In Letters)

“My poor friend could not understand the deep yearning and pain in life. Feeling unbearably lonely, I returned to my room. Ultimately it’s impossible for a man to make another man understand him fully. In the final analysis, camaraderie between one man and another is merely superficial. Realizing that the friend who I had thought understood me as thoroughly as I had him was unable, ultimately, to understand the anguish and pain at the bottom of my heart made me feel unbearably dreary. We are each separate, each alone! This thought left me indescribably sad.”
(Takuboku Ishikawa, Romaji Diary)

John French – Jean Shrimpton for Mary Quant (London 1964)

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Mike Berkofsky – Jane Birkin Wearing a Dress by Laura Ashley (19 Magazine 1970)

Picture by Olha Sheludiakova, found here.

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Picture by Marina Marić, found here.

Alexis Waldeck – Donna Mitchell (Status & Diplomat 1967)

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Barry Lategan – Maudie James and Louise Despointes (Vogue UK 1971)

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Ford Abbey and Gardens (by Annie Spratt)

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Found in the Internet Archive by AnitaNH

Dresses from Foale and Tuffin (Woman’s Journal 1971)

Dresses by Colin Glascoe (Woman’s Journal 1971)

By Laura Makabresku.

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Stuart Brown – Models Wearing Pourelle Ensembles (19 Magazine 1969)

My Inspiration for July 2021

31 Jul

These sunny July days I very much enjoyed listening to my old favourite songs by Pearl Jam but also discovered some stuff by Chris Cornell, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains; especially the hauntingly beautiful live version of “Love, Hate, Love”. I am mildly obsessed with cactuses, both in paintings and in desert scenery, prairie dresses, 1970s Sarah Kay illustrations, vibrant, childlike, colorful paintings by Fauvists, Gauguin’s Tahiti-phase paintings, flower paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe… I got my hands on quite a few fascinating books this month (finally!), amongst them are the recently published and thought-provoking book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” by Abigal Shrier, Uncommon by Owen Hatherley; a book about the band Pulp, their aesthetic, lyrics and place as perpetual outsiders on the music scene, As I crossed a Bridge of Dreams; a wonderful novel written by a court lady in the 11th century Japan, The Bilingual Lover by Juan Marsé; both comical and sad at the same time, The Way to Paradise by Mario Vargas Llosa; a novel which explores the lives of Paul Gauguin and his grandmother Flora Tristan; they both had in common the urge for freedom, and they both tried to break the chains of civilisations, each in their own way. I am also more than half-way through Erich Fromm’s “Escape from Freedom” which is very interesting and especially so in the age we are living in, here are two quotes I enjoyed:

“We are proud that we are not subject to any external authority, that we are free to express our thoughts and feelings, and we take it for granted that this freedom almost automatically guarantees our individuality. The right to express our thoughts, however, means something only if we are able to have thoughts of our own; freedom from external authority is a lasting gain only if the inner psychological conditions are such that we are able to establish our own individuality.”

“Freedom is not less endangered if attacked in the name of anti-Fascism than in that of outright Fascism. This truth has been so forcefully formulated by John Dewey that I express the thought in his words: “The serious threat to our democracy,” he says, “is not the existence of foreign totalitarian states. It is the existence within our own personal attitudes and within our own institutions of conditions which have given a victory to external authority, discipline, uniformity and dependence upon The Leader in foreign countries. The battlefield is also accordingly here—within ourselves and our institutions.”

“The days are long and weigh on me. I am suffocating.”
(Albert Camus, from a letter featured in “A Life Worth Living”, c. 1940)

Sasha Kichigina photographed by Ina Lekiewicz for For Love & Lemons Spring 2020

Instagram: elise.buch

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Model Ingrid Boulting photographed at Lacock Abbey, “Summer at Source”, by Norman Parkinson for Vogue UK, July 1970

Red Avadat, Red Munia or strawberry finch, picture found here.

Moret-sur-Loing, France (by J.P. Renais)

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A Cactus Garden in California⁣, c. 1902⁣, Source: Beinecke Digital Collections⁣

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Dan Kozan, from Creative Black Book: Photography (1985)

Cuba, picture found here.

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Miss Moda 2020 in Elle Mexico December 2019 by Dennis Tejero

Towers with Faces at the Bayon Temple, Angkor wat complex, Cambodia. Picture found here.

Red and White Campion Meadow & Wild Campion Meadow
by Alan MacKenzie

My Inspiration for March 2021

31 Mar

My biggest inspiration this month (and discovery) was Santoka Taneda; a Japanese haiku writer who led a fascinating life and wrote Zen poetry, and also my old favourite Vincent van Gogh: his art, his letters, and Irving Stone’s novel “Lust for Life”. As I am writing this, bright yellow daffodils are smiling to me from their vase and from my window I see the clouds, the skies, the treetops, I hear the birdsong; they all call me to join them and I shall. Enjoy the beautiful pictures!

“There were so many things we feared. And we shouldn’t have. We should have lived.”

(Ivo Andrić)

“Today my path was wonderful. I wanted to shout out to the mountains, the sea, and the sky. The sound of the waves, the birds, the pure water–I’m grateful for everything. The sun shone brightly and the number of pilgrims increases daily. The memorials, the bridges, the shrines, and the cliffs were so beautiful. My rice was like food from heaven.”

(from Santoka Taneda’s diary)

Beautiful watercolour by  李淡淡 .

Picture by i.Anton ☂.

Quote from “Sputnik Sweetheart”, by Haruki Murakami

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Lucia Heffernan – Field Wishes, 2020

My Inspiration for January 2021

31 Jan

I cannot say that I am sad because January is over, I mean, it isn’t the most exciting month, but it did leave me a gift of some delightful violin music and a wonderful book “The Claiming of the Sleeping Beauty” by Anne Rice which I enjoyed immensely! It’s an erotic novel and most reviews I read were rather negative, but I found it a great read; I liked that it’s a classic and well-known fairy tale but with a twist. My aesthetic this month was partly very dreamy, princessy and snowy, and partly inspired by Marianne Stokes’s wonderful portraits of Slovak and Hungarian girls. Nature is still asleep but I am ardently awaiting it to awake once more, I can hardly contain my excitement when I imagine the meadows and gardens now covered with snow will be green and alive with the laughter of the primroses…

I treated Art as the supreme reality and life as a mere mode of fiction.”

(Oscar Wilde, De Profundis)

Chateau de Crazannes, France (by Mathias Doisne)

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By: Victoria Chmel | victoriachmel

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Pic by Stefany Alves

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My Inspiration for November 2020

30 Nov

This has been such a wonderful November in terms of inspiration! I’ve been obsessed with Brigitte Bardot and reading Simone de Beauvoir’s essay “Brigitte Bardot and the Lolita Syndrome” (1959) really fueled this obsession and so did the film La Verité (1960) with the handsome Sami Frey. I enjoyed listening to Francoise Hardy and gazing at beautiful cityscapes of Camille Pissarro with tiny figures of strollers and carriages, Bonnard’s paintings of buildings on the other side of the street, Preciosionist paintings by Charles Demuth and Charles Sheeler, then my imagination took me on a little revival of my love for the Manic Street Preachers and especially their song “Little Baby Nothing” which was, coincidentally, released on 16th November 1992.

Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one’s right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.

(Viktor Frankl)

“It was November – the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds, deep, sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs in the pines.”

(L.M.Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)

Photo by Paul Schmidt, found here.

Bruges, picture found here.

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Nicky Wire and Richey Edwards by Mitch Ikeda

Foggy evening at Lichtenstein Castle, Germany

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“assassinated beauty” ~ kevin cummins, pg.182. Found here.

film Jeune et Jolie (2013)

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My Inspiration for August 2020

31 Aug

This August I was in a very Japanese mood because I was reading Arthur Golden’s novel Memoirs of a Geisha which was very beautiful and also very sad, though I certainly enjoyed learning about Japanese culture and the world of geishas. I was also in a fairy tale mood and I spent many joyous moments gazing at Felicitas Kuhn’s illustrations of fairy tales such as Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty and it was a feast for my eyes. I also read Rollo May’s book Man’s Search for Himself which was an amazing read and I really recommend it! I enjoyed Philip Wilson Steer’s vibrant beach scenes and painting of the sea by other painters as well, architecture of Kyoto and night life of Tokyo with neon lights and loneliness, Ukiyo-e prints and vibrant kimono. I’d really love to mention two great films I watched; The Vanishing (1993) which was recommended to me by a very dear person and it was both chilling and sad at once and I know it will linger in my memory, and Orphan (2009) which I’ve wanted to see for a long time. As much as I love Esther’s lovely doll-like costumes, I was speechless at just how cruel and wicked she is, hiding her true self under a charming and polite exterior. To end, I’d like to quote David Icke quoting the verses from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “The Mask of Anarchy” at his Unite for Freedom rally in London the other day:

“Rise like Lions after slumber

 In unvanquishable number—

 Shake your chains to earth like dew

 Which in sleep had fallen on you

— Ye are many—they are few.”

Scotney Castle, Kent, England via national trust

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San Marino by Daniele Rossi.

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Bat Necklace by CuriousBurrow

 

Bath, UK. Pic found here.

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Scan 72 (by Baggerss)

Miss Patina

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Night in Tokyo, pic found here.

Gansen-ji, Kyoto / Japan (by Patrick Vierthaler).

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Memento Mori dress, found here.

My Inspiration for April 2020

30 Apr

I spent this April in thoughts of love, leisure and pleasure; partly dues to rereading parts of Milan Kundera’s novel “Slowness” and daydreaming about Fragonard’s series “The Progress of Love”. I daydreamed about all the places for leisure and reverie: parks, promenades, woods, ponds with water lilies, forest groves, meadows… I also enjoyed moments in nature, listening to birds, the river, picking flowers, and also connecting it to the artworks of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists where nature is beautifully portrayed. I listened to John Lennon’s song “Nobody Told Me” a lot this month and it seems fitting for these strange days:

“Everybody’s talking and no one says a word
Everybody’s making love and no one really cares….

Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed — strange days indeed”

Another joy these days was sitting on my windowsill in sunset, sounds of rain mingling with passionate Chopin’s Nocturnes, inhaling fresh green air of April and gazing at the greenness  I read a beautiful short story collection “Downfall and Other Stories” by Fumiko Hayashi and there will be a review coming soon… The painting of the month was surely a beautiful portrait of a girl with a hat called “Hommage a Renoir” by John Corbet, the colours and the mood touched the strings of my heart. I watched a beautiful Lolitaesque French film “Beau Pere” (1981) about a melancholy pianist whose step-daughter falls in love with him after her mother dies.

“I am a mistake, a ghost.”

(Jorge Luis Borges, from Labyrinths; “The Garden of Forking Paths”)

“To spend a life in dreams, that sounded too lovely.”

(Gillian Flynn “Sharp Objects”)

Pic by Baie.

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333/365 Copenhagen lamps by M. Klasan on Flickr.

Photography by Xuebing Du

Nowy Sącz, Poland, 9 Konarskiego St. house built in 1909, architect: Zenon Adam Remi, taken on 18 April 2017.

Photography by Xuebing Du

untitled by 2 Rights Make 1 Wrong on Flickr.

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Photo by Stefany Alves.

Richey James Edwards, of Welsh alternative rock group the Manic Street Preachers, Bangkok, Thailand, 27th April 1994. Photo by Kevin Cummins

golden poppy field & poppies over Lancing by Emma Varley

John Corbet, Hommage à Renoir, watercolour on paper, 2020

Beau Pere (1981)

My Inspiration for December 2019

31 Dec

Pierrots, carnivals, dreams, Chagall’s blue, his love and his lovers, Chet Baker’s melancholy jazz… I reread Patti Smith’s book “Just Kids” and watched the film about Morrissey “England is Mine” (2016) and both deal with the artist’s struggles on the way to fame and both of them comforted me and reminded me of what my values have been since the first time I felt like I want to create, and it made me inspired and that is all one needs from time to time, a dose of inspiration. I feel very optimistic about 2020 for some reason. We’ll see what I have to say at the end of it…. A new year, like a new white sheet of paper with no ink blots, no mistakes, no regrets, no what if-s… And an infinity of Beauty and ecstasy and joy to fill the page with. I hope to paint more, love more, discover more things, feel the nature more deeply, practice the art of indolence more persistently, steal more flowers from my neighbours’ gardens, read some fantastic books, defeat some of my fears and anxieties, and I wish the best 2020 to all of my readers too!

“The trees you planted in childhood have grown too heavy. You cannot bring them along. Give yourselves to the air, to what you cannot hold.”

(Rainer Maria Rilke, Part One IV, from “Sonnets to Orpheus”)

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Warsaw, Poland (by Greg Weeks)

Harlem, New York City – May 17th, 2019, Instagram: @matthewgrantanson

 

By Stefany Alves

 

The Smiths – The Queen is Dead (1986)by Arthur Viera

My Inspiration for October 2019

31 Oct

I feel so inspired these last days of October! Such rapture and love and enthusiasm mounting in my soul! It must be the influence or Rilke whose letters and writing are guiding me through life with their wisdom, comforting me and teaching me patience, and also the music I am listening to these days is fueling me like a drug; Pearl Jam Nirvana and Alice in Chains unplugged on MTV, such rawness of emotions and beauty. Eddie Vedder’s voice truly makes the song sound passionate and sincere. I reread Mikhail Lermontov’s fantastic novel “A Hero of Our Time”; and that’s a hint for a future post 😉 . This October was all about Japanese and Korean fashion and some interesting make up styles, cute and eerie Japanese dolls, Camille Paglia’s writings and interviews, Lolita dresses, witch aesthetic, Lermontov’s early poetry full of teenage angst and a feeling of emptiness within, then the beautiful melancholy Marine Vacth in the film “Young and Beautiful” (2013), paintings by Anna Kowch, film “Love Witch” (2016) with its gorgeous aesthetic and costumes to die for, Joy Division’s song “Ceremony” – so sweetly melancholy, Franz Liszt’s music… And now, with lighted candles I inhale the scent of the last October’s roses – in dusty pink colour – and listen to their petals falling slowly in autumnal dusk.

“The same cycle–excitement and despair, excitement and despair.”

(Alice Munro, from “Cortes Island”, published in The New Yorker c. 1988)

Photo by Laura Makabresku

Legend…by Muharrem ünal

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